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ACT Research: U.S. Used Truck Retail Sales Shrink 32% in January Y/Y, Prices Soar

February 16, 2022, 07:05 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) shrank 8 percent month-over-month and were 32 percent lower compared to January of 2021, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for January 2022, which showed that average prices rose 9 percent, as average miles grew 1 percent and average age dropped 1 percent compared to December. Compared to January of 2021, average price was 82 percent higher, with average miles and age greater by 6 percent each.

ACT’s Classes 3-8 Used Truck Report provides data on the average selling price, miles and age based on a sample of industry data. In addition, the report provides the average selling price for top-selling Class 8 models for each of the major truck OEMs – Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).

According to Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research, “As is historically the case, preliminary same dealer retail sales nosedived in January, but not nearly as much as the expected 45 percent or so drop.” He elaborated, “For various reasons, truck buyers are generally not in the market in the dead of winter, but clearly, used trucks are still in demand today.”

Tam continued, “More pertinent is the comparison to January 2021, where sales lagged by 32 percent. At issue is the simple lack of inventory from which truckers can purchase. Despite the robust new truck build and sales figures that closed 2021, the used truck market is operating with less inventory than it has at almost any time in recent memory and perhaps ever.”

He concluded, “The combination of through-the-roof demand and severely limited inventory has driven prices to never-before-seen levels, and we are increasingly hearing stories of fleets with unseated, late model equipment opportunistically taking advantage of current market dynamics. Those with excess capacity are selling to frustrated, traditionally new truck buyers, who are having difficulty acquiring the units they need.”

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